Ribbon cutting at new EV charging station in Austin powered by solar

Austin, MN shines during Southeast CERT tour and ribbon cutting

Over thirty people gathered in Austin, Minnesota on Wednesday, August 5th at Jay C. Hormel Nature Center to hear from community members and civic leaders taking clean energy action across multiple sectors on a wide range of projects in Austin. The event was a Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team (SE CERT) regional meeting.

Media: The event got a lot of attention from local media outlets. In fact, there was TV coverage on KIMT and KTTC, and a story in the Austin Daily Herald.

Recap & Presentations:

  • Michelle Palm gave an overview of CERTs (download the presentation). Then Janet Anderson, Austin’s GreenStep Cities Coordinator and City Council Member, talked about the opportunities that the program–now with 84 participating cities—has given Austin. “GreenStep Cities gives us a good framework to identify projects and also is an opportunity to network with other cities and tap into their expertise.”
     
  • Kelly Lady spoke about the electric vehicle charger and other exciting projects around Austin (download the presentation). Austin Public Utilities is consolidating seven buildings at three sites into a single building, with completion expected in August of 2016. The building will include geothermal and a solar thermal wall, among other innovative systems.
     
  • Steve Vietor with Riverland Community College gave information about the two solar PV systems at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, as well as the solar powered electric vehicle charger (download the presentation). His students were involved directly in all of these projects, and he reported they are finding good paying jobs in the renewable energy industry after they graduate. “It takes the grassroots work like this to move renewable energy forward,” he said.
  • Michelle Palm wrapped things up and then folks toured the solar installs and drove downtown for the solar powered electric vehicle charger ribbon-cutting. A good time was had by all!

See photos from the event:

Austin Clean Energy Tour

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